Wimal, Sarath issue warning, claim destabilisation project underway
Posted on June 6th, 2022

By Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy The Island

National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa, MP, has issued a dire warning to the government over the unprecedented detention of an Aeroflot flight under controversial circumstances. The former Industries Minister has asked whether the three branches of government are working together to further worsen the crisis by antagonising Russia, an all-weather friend.SLPP MP Rear Admiral (retd) Sarath Weerasekera, has in a letter to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, demanded the latter’s immediate intervention to settle the issue or face the consequences. The former Public Security Minister has opposed the stand taken by Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe that the Commercial Court action was in respect of a private dispute between Plaintiff, Celestial Aviation Trading 10 Ltd., an Irish Company against the first Defendant the Public Joint Stock Company ‘Aeroflot’ and the second Defendant, N. C Abeywardene/Acting Head of Air Navigation/Airport and Aviation Services of Sri Lanka (AASL), Katunayake.

Both MPs have demanded a through investigation into the Aeroflot affair.Addressing the media at Communist Party Office, in Colombo yesterday (05) MP Weerawansa said interested parties had worked overtime to isolate Sri Lanka by causing serious issues which may trigger unprecedented reactions.Both Weerawansa and Weerasekera pointed out that flight SU 289 had been detained in violation of a specific assurance given by Sri Lanka that Aeroflot flights wouldn’t be detained under any circumstances. But regardless of that assurance given, SU 289 had been detained at the expense of Sri Lanka’s ties with Russia.MP Weerawansa reminded the government that Russia had resumed flights to Colombo following assurances received from the incumbent dispensation.

Both lawmakers asked whether external powers had been engaged in an operation to jeopardise relations between the two countries at a time Russia allowed its citizens to visit Sri Lanka while the West discouraged tourists.Both lawmakers questioned the role played by a court official in this regard. They underscored the important role played by both China and Russia in defending Sri Lanka at the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council over the years. The former ministers said that Sri Lanka should unreservedly express regret over the incident as Russia already summoned Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Moscow following the dispute.The MPs said that the government couldn’t absolve itself of the responsibility of an extremely serious development. Lawmaker Weerasekera told The Island that detention of SU 289 was contrary to Sri Lanka-Russia bilateral relations and nothing but a treacherous act. We should be ashamed as a nation,” the former Navy Chief of Staff said, urging the government, particularly the Foreign Ministry, to be mindful of the domestic, regional and international environment.

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